|No Stranger to Anyone|
Spawned of muddy puddles and ditches
in the shady green gloom and heat of
a savage, peace-starved chunk of continent,
a thin jungle meander that switches anon to
the Mongala and miles ahead, worlds away,
arced steamy Congo, king of rivers.
Another place, another time, fates might
have been more kind. Let you be a candy
bar, well-known snack brand or healthy nut,
or designate some precious gem unearthed
near your bank, glistening pink in palest light.
You might have been a princess’s name or
whole line of royalty: Ebola IV, Castle Builder,
All-Conquering Spear. Or cloak with
glory some natural splendor: Ebolian sunsets
touching the fronds and creepers with fire,
postcards in the gritty shops of Kinshasa.
But here in this place Cain’s curse smears your winding
coils with rancid ordure, puke, and pain. And
so suffuses your soul with venom the Mantra
of our Age is all you know:
Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill